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Old 05-15-2004, 04:49 PM
jessfactor jessfactor is offline
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difference between big block and small block

I tried searching around on the net and FTE, but only got info on rebuilding and such. I was wondering what the difference between big black and small block is. I figure it has to to w/cylinder size and stoke, but i'm not exactly sure. I was told my straight six is a big block.

another question i have has to do w/engine balance. i know a straight six is naturaly balanced and a V8 isn't. is that because the straight six had all the cylinders firing along one line, on a single plane?

i have a general idea of this stuff, but it bothers me when i'm not sure on something.
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Old 05-15-2004, 05:00 PM
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the big block and small block started with chevy. Bore or stroke mean nothing when talking about sb or bb. I just go off what I have learned about the sb and bb.
Theres some confusion are what is what.
221, 255, 260, 289, 302, 351w small blocks
351m, 400, 351c small blocks
Inline 240, 300 small blocks
332, 352, 360, 390, 406, 410, 427, 428 big blocks
429,460 big blocks

Now the modular 281 and 330 have hugh blocks but I don't think they are consider anything.

The balance is either internal or external.
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Old 05-15-2004, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordeverpower
Inline 240, 300 small blocks
when they are divided into big/small block, the 240/300 are bigblock 6's
and the 144/170/200/250 are smallblock 6's
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Old 05-15-2004, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhalftons
when they are divided into big/small block, the 240/300 are bigblock 6's
and the 144/170/200/250 are smallblock 6's
Very well could be. Thats the only thing I was not a 100% sure about.
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Old 05-15-2004, 06:00 PM
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The big/small block analogy does not fit Ford engines at all, they are GM terms, used to describe GM engines.

The Ford OHV V8 Engines are as follows:
Y-Block 239-272-292-312
Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln (MEL)383-430-462
Ford-Edsel (FE) 332, 352, 360, 390, 406, 410, 427, 428
90-Degree V (Windsor) 221-255- 260-289-302 and 351 Windsor
385-Series (Big Block) 429-460
335-Series (Cleveland) 302-351(C and M)- 400

For the sixes:
144-170-200-250 Small, or Falcon Six
240-300 Big six.
215-223-262

To make this even more fun, the 90 Degree Windsor bolt pattern is found on the 240-300 big six, the 250 CI small six, the 351C, and some 400's.
The 429/460 385 bolt pattern is also found on the 351M and 400 335 engines(which, interestingly have the same deck height as the 385 series), and, the 385 series blocks also sport the MEL bolt pattern.

I will give you this bit of advice, don't try and figure it out unless you REALLY have to.
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Old 05-15-2004, 06:50 PM
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thats about the best description I've ever seen.... but don't forget the 302HD, 330HD, 330MD, 335HD, 370, 385, 361FT, & 391FTs.... (had to throw a wrench in it )
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Old 05-15-2004, 10:17 PM
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Lets not forget the 401, 477, 534... Definately big block.
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Old 05-15-2004, 10:33 PM
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Before there were two distinctly different types and/or sizes of V-8 engines from any one manufactuer, the V-8 was called just that, the V-8 whatever. As soon as second V-8 engine was created by the same manufactuer, {example 265/283 Chevy first, then the 348/409 came later} there was a need to designate differently. Street slang deemed the obviously smaller engine the "small block" and the obviously bigger one the "big block". In the 60's Ford sure muddied up the waters with all the engine families it created but Chevrolet kept it a little simpler. I guess they had to, given the intelligence level of the average Chevy fan.
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Old 05-15-2004, 10:37 PM
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some things that also give a designation as big block/small block are valve sizes (2.02" Intake is the min) and bore spacing.
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Old 05-16-2004, 10:08 AM
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thanks for the replies. i thought there was an exact definition for bb and sb. this thread helped clear up the misunderstandings i had.

another thing i never understood is why my engine says 4.9L on it if its an american truck. shouldn't it say 300ci? same thing w/most american engines. the displacement is always stamped on the engine in metric.
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Old 05-16-2004, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattsbox99
some things that also give a designation as big block/small block are valve sizes (2.02" Intake is the min) and bore spacing.
So if you have a 2.02'' / 1.60'' valves put in a 302/351 head is it a Big Block?
hehe
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Old 05-16-2004, 07:11 PM
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Just to further confuse the issue, some people refer to the 335 series (351c, 351m, 400) as a medium block. I think it's probably mostly those brand "C" guys, because they're so smug about being able to fit the vast majority of their V8s neatly into the 2 catagories, and they just don't know how to deal with anything that lies outside the realm of their limited experience!
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Old 05-16-2004, 07:24 PM
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In the spirit of thowing it out there......with GM, the best way to tell Big from Small is the exhaust manifold or headers exiting the block.....
Big block [] [] [] [] Small Block [] [][] []

I know more about GM engines than Fords. But thats the way I was raised. But then, I'm not sure how much I know about Chevys either.
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Old 05-16-2004, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peppy
In the spirit of thowing it out there......with GM, the best way to tell Big from Small is the exhaust manifold or headers exiting the block.....
Big block [] [] [] [] Small Block [] [][] []

I know more about GM engines than Fords. But thats the way I was raised. But then, I'm not sure how much I know about Chevys either.
Know what you mean there... I was raised Chevy by my dad, but i always hated em. Bad luck outta then... But who does know anything about chevies other than they break?
And good point on the Exhaust ports
Also, I dont think ford every had a center bolt valve cover??
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Old 05-16-2004, 08:02 PM
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Not true. Ford Y block engines have center bolt valve covers. Don't EVEN ask me if they're small block or big block. LOL
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Old 05-16-2004, 08:02 PM
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